The swag curtain is still one of the more popular window treatments being made.
What is great about a swag style drapery is that it can be either made on a board or on a pole. Plus, within the board style or the pole style, the swag can have either pleated or gathered jabots hanging from the side, or the swag can have panels or even a combination of jabots (sometimes referred to as cascades) and panels.
Being a custom look, the swag curtain can have jabots any length as well as the shell any length. A professional company who has a shop at home service better have experienced decorators who can suggest shell length because many times there is a blind or shade underneath and the shell needs to “hide” the head rail when it dips up in what is called the short point.
In terms of jabots (cascades), the general rule of thumb is “in thirds”. 36 inch jabots are a common size on a window where the top of the swag board is 84 inches or higher. Again, the third rule is all approximate and thus why it is called custom drapery. The length of the jabot and style is all objective. You as the consumer have to decide what you like.
Pleated vs Bunched
Most of the jabots done on treatments are pleated. In other words, they fold back in a nice symmetrical pattern all the way down. What this allows the customer to do is to introduce another fabric within the same window treatment.
The gathered look is one where the jabot is “bunchy”. Make sure you work with your decorator on the correct look that fits your style. One quick hint on what you might like in terms of pleated versus gathered jabots – if you are someone who likes things crisp and with perfection, then the pleated jabot look is for you and not the gathered.
My wife says I am “anal” about a lot of different things. I therefore fit in the pleated look because certain things have to be done a certain way and not varied for me.
I mentioned a pole versus a board swag in the beginning – the great thing about a pole swag is that the decorator can introduce another aspect to your window – i.e the color and style of a decorative piece of hardware. Just like the comment above about a different color for the fold over side of a pleated jabot, the hardware adds the same feel because it gives even more life to a window.